Avenue of Heroes: Philip M. Quast
Written by CAPT Timothy M. Quast, MC, USN
Vice Admiral Philip Quast was a 36-year-old naval surface warfare veteran and the son, brother and father of naval officers. After serving two tours in Vietnam and leading the Nimitz Battle Group during Operation Desert Storm, Quast distinguished himself as the first Pacific Fleet recipient of the “Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale Leadership Award”, which recognizes the leadership skill in command at sea.
After graduating from Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Quast served in a variety of seagoing assignments, including navigator aboard USS King (DLG 10); armament officer aboard USS Twining (DD 940); Commander, River Patrol Division 532 in Vietnam; and Executive Officer of USS Talbot (DEG 4).
He was commanding officer of USS Benjamin Stoddert (DDG 22) and commissioning commander of USS Bunker Hill (CG 52). During Bunker Hill’s initial deployment to the Western Pacific, he served as the Battleship Missouri Battle Group Commander and supported Operation Earnest Will. — the escort of oil tankers flying the American flag passing through the Strait of Hormuz. During Desert Storm he commanded the Nimitz Battlegroup, Cruiser-Destroyer Group Three.
Vice Admiral Quast’s shore assignments included instructor at the California Maritime Academy; Commander’s Personnel Program Officer, Cruiser-Destroyer Force, US Atlantic Fleet; Weapons Systems Engineering Instructor and Battalion Officer for the Midshipman Brigade at the United States Naval Academy; and Junior Assignment Manager, Personnel Office.
Vice Admiral Quast’s Flag assignments included: Assignments Division Chief, Naval Military Personnel Command and Chief of Naval Operations Staff as Director, Total Force/Manpower Programming Division and as Director, Military Personnel Policy Division. He was also Director of the Surface Warfare Division, Chief of Staff Naval Personnel. His last assignment was in command of Military Sealift Command.
Vice Admiral Quast’s personal decorations include: the Legion of Merit with four gold stars in lieu of later awards; Bronze Star with Combat “V” and a Gold Star; Meritorious Service Medal; and Navy Medal. Vice Admiral Quast died in 2019 and is survived by his wife of 55 years, the former Peggy Lord; five children and 12 grandchildren.